The Capuchin Annual was published from 1930 until 1977. The above small ads and advertising illustrations are from the 1950-1 edition. It’s a massive tome, running to almost 600 pages, a sizable proportion of which is advertising, giving us a small window into mid-century Ireland. The book also contains many nice illustrations by Richard J. King who acted as art director to the publication for many years. I like to imagine an Irish Warhol cranking out screen prints of oversized “Clover Brand Stewed Steak” cans long before the man himself turned his love of Campbell’s soup into a cultural icon.

cigarettecards480I picked up a full set of these cigarette cards on a recent trip to Cambridge. The wonderful caricatures by Alick P.F. Ritchie (1868-1938) are from 1926. Included in the  fifty portraits of the great and good are four Irishmen – George Bernard Shaw, William Orpen, Edward Carson and T.P. O’Connor. The National Portrait Gallery in London is also lucky enough to own a set and you can view all the cards, along with other fine examples of Ritchie’s work, on their site.


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